Mid-East Ukuleles

Mid-East make a large range of instruments from around the world from 10th Century Arabic pianos to African drums to Indian harmoniums. This has obviously had an influence on their ukulele designs as they’re some of the most striking around.

Currently, the only ukulele available is a ‘Cumbus ukulele’ (a Turkish instrument and similar to a banjolele). But they made a huge splash at NAMM 2010 with a selection of unusual ukuleles including a baroq-ulele (looking similar to a lute), a balalaika ukulele and a sitar-lele. These are due for release later this year and you can pre-order on their wesite

On Video

thejumpingflea plays a few John King arrangements on a Baroq-ulele.

4 Comments

  1. Walden August 19th, 2010 10:18 pm

    It bears a more than passing resemblance to the Milanese mandolin. It sounds great. Thejumpingflea’s playing in this video would shatter any preconceptions that may exist that the ukulele cannot be a serious instrument.

  2. linda marie May 23rd, 2011 9:24 pm

    So far…this ukulele has been a big disappointment. I does not sound anything like the videos. It has a dull tone and greatly lacks resonance. The workmanship is shoddy and full of flaws. It is eye candy and not much more. I really gave it a chance but it just fails. I wish otherwise.

  3. michael h October 29th, 2011 5:21 pm

    Linda Marie.. sounds like you just got a bad one. I have a concert size and i love it.. It is beautiful and has great sound. I ordered one of their Lute-kuleles and sent it back. It was just as you’re describing.. Poorly put together and had massive string buzz. I think it is more a situation of poor quality control coming out of there Middle Eastern shops. Next time i have some free money, i may try another Lute-kulele, you may want to give the Baroq another chance..

  4. Geoff Gaherty October 28th, 2013 12:21 am

    I recently bought one of their lute-kuleles and I’m quite pleased with it. I’m a lutenist and used to the small strings and low action of the lute, so find the lute-kulele a bit uncomfortable to play. I probably will restring it as a mandora or descant lute. It’s well made and very pretty, and has quite a nice sound. A friend who plays the uke really likes it, and is thinking of buying one.

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